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The Republic of Whangamomona

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Whangamomona: not part of New Zealand.

This quirky little town in the (although, it is controversial to say this) Manawatu-Wanganui Region in the North Island is its own republic. The republic is complete with presidents, however, only one has been human, and passports and passport stamps to ensure safe passage through Whangamomona.

Certainly off the beaten track, only a hardcore New Zealand backpacker would make sure they add the Republic of Whangamomona stamp to their passport! You can get to the town by following the Forgotten World State Highway.

What you need to know about the Republic of Whangamomona

Just when you thought you had gone through the immigration process to get into New Zealand, now you need another passport stamp! Don’t worry, all you need to know about the republic is in this article:

  • How Whangamomona became a republic.
  • Learn about all the presidents!
  • Save the date for Republic Day.
  • How to get your Whangamomona passport.
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How Whangamomona became a republic

It all began in 1988 when the local council planned to split Whangamomona into 2 regions: Taranaki and Manawatu-Wanganui districts. Much to the locals’ dismay, as most of them associated themselves as part of Taranaki and they were not consulted about the change first, the residents decided to declare Whangamomona as a republic complete with a president!

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The presidents of Whangamomona

The first president of Whangamomona was human. For some reason, the republic didn’t seem to take itself seriously after that.

  • Ian Kjestrup (1989–1999)
    Kjestrup did not plan on becoming president for 10 years, as his name was put in the ballot without his knowledge.
  • Billy the Kid (1999–2001)
    Billy was the first elected goat. He won election by eating the other challengers’ ballots. Unfortunately, he died in office after serving for 18 months. Short life spans is just one reason why animals should not be presidents.
  • Tai the Poodle (2003–2004)
    Tai retired after an assassination attempt left him a nervous wreck.
  • Murt “Murtle the Turtle” Kennard (2005–present)
    Murt must have been doing a fine job, as he keeps being reelected! That solves the problem of animal presidents having short lifespans.

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Whangamomona Republic Day

To celebrate the republic’s sass, Republic Day is held every January – the month Whangamomona gained independence. New Zealanders far and wide flock to the town for this event! Some good old country activities are enjoyed such as, sheep racing, gumboot throwing, whip cracking, possum skinning, gutbuster racing, hold ups and shoot outs. We don’t know what half of those activities are, but they seem pretty exciting.

The presidential elections are also held on this day.

Where to get your Whangamomona passport.

In the little village of Whangamomona, it is hard to miss the hotel. Visit the hotel to receive your passport stamp and purchase your Whangamomona passport.

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